Photo: Courtesy of Spotify.
Spotify is interested in getting to know you, really getting to know you. In a new interview with Tech Radar, the music-streaming giant's product manager, Donovan Sung, said that Spotify is developing ways to become even more intuitive about its music recommendations. It's looking to integrate more deeply with mobile devices, which means it's depending on your phone to be able to convey all kinds of information about you — and your body. Spotify wants to monitor users' habits closely, looking for metrics like "the listener's heart rate, speed of motion, and sleep patterns." Yikes? But, actually, there are already popular body-monitoring apps that do this, such as SleepCycle. It doesn't take a huge leap of logic to realize that entertainment apps will soon incorporate biological cues into the algorithms they use to tell you what music and films you will like.
"Maybe with motion sensors in phones, we can start guessing things whether users are running, biking, or driving? Maybe if the phone has a temperature sensor or a heart rate sensor, we could guess whether the user is tense," mused Sung. Hence, "chase sequence"-oriented music with a higher BPM could be cued up. Or ambient music for when you're at rest. "The more the engine knows about the user, the easier it is for it to make interesting recommendations." And, the easier it is for us to let go of our illusions of digital free will? Of course, that's another debate entirely. (Tech Radar)